Twin Sisters Traverse

By:  Sam
April 9, 2012

I’ve been fascinated by the Twin Sisters range for quite a while and the idea of a traverse has appealed for almost as long. Inspired by THIS trip report, and my own views off the south side of South Twin, Allen, Travis, and I set off early saturday morning with full packs and the desire to do the traverse in two days. Travis is heading out to do the Bugaboos to Rogers pass traverse ina few weeks, and Allen and I have a few ideas of our own for this spring, so we felt that this trip would serve as a good shakedown adventure. When Travis, whom i’d only briefly met and never skied with, called me on thursday night to see if I wanted to ski Baker I declined but invited him along on this trip, his enthusiasm and “I’ve always wanted to do that”, made it well worth the risk of taking a new partner along.

The last group that we’ve known to do the traverse (the earlier link) encountered some serious route finding challenges and dealt with a lot of hot weather. I was pretty confident that I’d identified a less technical route than they took, so, with some trepidation, we brought a 30m glacier rope a few pieces of rock pro and one ice screw and hoped that, unlike the last group, we wouldn’t have cause to use them.

We were a little haggard starting out.

Views improved as we reached the artificial alpine.

Plowing ceased at the side of current logging operation, so we switched to ski boots and stayed in them until the end of the trip.

In the interests of keeping things fresh, we decided to forgo the North Face of North Twin Sister and instead focused our attention on a prominent chute on the south side of North Twin. (get all that?)

The sun had just crested the divide between North and South sisters as we reached the basin between the two.

Our objective.

Travis following. The moraine of a melted glacier is visible behind.

Allen led for a while.

Near the top we encountered a short section of snow covered ice.

South Twin from North.

Continue Reading: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next »

Read about the author:   Sam
Enjoy this TR? Read another: TR: The (Other) White Ribbon of Death


  1. Adrian
    wrote on April 10th, 2012 at 1:27 am  

    Wow, looks like a great ski. Sure is some beautiful country around those parts.

  2. Skidmarks
    wrote on April 10th, 2012 at 7:24 am  

    At first glance I thought you were talking about Twin Mountain NH!!
    Great report guys.

  3. bushman
    wrote on April 10th, 2012 at 8:37 am  

    Damn! I’m out of breath just reading the notes below each frame; what a workout. inspires mere mortals to climb for snow next week. nice report guys.

  4. jake L.
    wrote on April 10th, 2012 at 8:53 am  

    A great adventure with great company, that’s what it’s all about! Splendid write up Sam, looking forward to the next instalment.

  5. Ullr
    wrote on April 10th, 2012 at 6:53 pm  


  6. christian
    wrote on April 10th, 2012 at 7:21 pm  

    SICK TRIP! how much vert did that work out to roughly?
    got yourself a houdini i see. one of my favorites, ever.

  7. Sam
    wrote on April 10th, 2012 at 10:40 pm  

    It was 11100ft of gain over 30 miles. Yeah, the houdini is awesome, I bought it for trail running (I’ve been running a ton recently), but I’ve really grown to like it for skiing as well. I didn’t even bring a shell on this trip.

  8. powhounddd
    wrote on April 11th, 2012 at 8:59 pm  

    Great TR, glad it worked out! The mountains there are really something, real nice pics. Oh and, just for fun: “We pushed off, praying to press past a pair of potentially problematic passes prior to parking our parkas.” would have been 2x Extra points for abusive alliteration ;)

    • bushman
      wrote on April 11th, 2012 at 9:31 pm  

      avoid alliteration. always

  9. Peter
    wrote on April 12th, 2012 at 10:49 pm  

    f.f.s this is awesome, thanks guys. So beautiful, I want to be in those mountains so badly!

    • Sam
      wrote on April 13th, 2012 at 3:10 am  

      6 hour flight + 6 miles of hiking gets you to snow! glad you liked the photos

  10. Roger Strong
    wrote on April 16th, 2012 at 1:42 am  

    Absolutely stunning traverse and thanks for sharing Sam and Allen…great getting to hang with you both in the desert this weekend!

  11. savant
    wrote on April 16th, 2012 at 11:48 am  

    Thanks for the time and effort put into writing this TR. As the Boston marathon trickles by with 80 -85 temps for the day this was a nice diversion

  12. ml242
    wrote on April 16th, 2012 at 5:45 pm  

    Must have been hard to leave so much great skiing hanging there to make it across the traverse. Looking forward to the next installation.

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